New York, USA –
Caetano Veloso has released his first album sung entirely in English. A Foreign Sound
(Nonesuch Records) reveals the diversity of American
songwriters he has loved and studied over the years, from Irving Berlin, Rodgers
and Hart, and Cole Porter to Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and David Byrne.
A Foreign Sound
is a culmination of Veloso’s longstanding and
multifarious exploration of American music. Surprising and imaginative
interpretations of American songs have been a staple of his recent live shows,
and they have made occasional appearances on his studio albums over the years.
As he explains in his acclaimed memoir, Tropical Truth: A Story of Music &
Revolution in Brazil (Knopf 2002), he came to some of his favorite American
singers and musicians—including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker,
Miles Davis, and the Modern Jazz Quartet—by tracing the steps of his foremost
Gilberto. On A Foreign Sound, Veloso interprets several songs he
first learned listening to these artists in the early 1960s, including “So In
Love,” “Love for Sale,” “Manhattan,” and “Body and Soul.” Other songs have
particular significance in the context of Brazilian culture, such as the1970s
hit “Feelings,” which is widely used to teach English there. Veloso’s approach to the music varies from track to track. While on some songs
he is backed by a 28-piece orchestra, on others his only accompaniment is his
signature acoustic guitar playing. “Love for Sale” is recorded completely a
cappella. Among the many accomplished musicians featured on the album are
Caetano’s son Moreno and his longtime collaborator Jaques Morelenbaum, who
contributes as arranger, conductor and cellist.
April 14-18, Veloso will be the first non-classical musician featured in
Carnegie Hall’s prestigious Perspective series, in which artists are invited to
curate short concert series that reflect their personal artistic visions. In
addition to his own performances April 16 and 17 in Isaac Stern Auditorium, the
latter featuring his friend and collaborator David Byrne, Veloso has selected
Banda AfroReggae and Mart’nália to perform in Zankel Hall April 14 and April 15,
respectively. Veloso’s mini-series will conclude April 18 at Weill Recital Hall
in a multimedia performance by the seminal Brazilian poet Augusto de Campos.
Additionally, the documentary film, which traces the origins of the tropicalia
movement through interviews with Veloso and his contemporaries, will be shown at
the Museum of Television and Radio History on Tuesday, April 13.